Upon getting started, beginner freight sales agents will ask me: “Ted, where are all the customers?” The reality is… Customers are everywhere! What that really means is: PROSPECTS are everywhere. As you build a huge prospect list, and follow up with them correctly, lots of them will eventually turn into actual freight customers.
Where Do You Acquire Your Ongoing List Of Freight Prospects?
Friends: Where do your friends work? Where does your family work? These are all potential leads. In fact, these are easy leads because you can call the decision maker and say “I was referred by my wife or Cousin Joe, etc” and you’ll build rapport much faster than a cold lead.
Drive-By’s and Stop-Ins: Before I became a successful freight sales agent, I actually drove a truck with a 53’ dry van for a living. What I’d do is write down the names of companies as I drove by, and took special note of companies who appeared to be shipping a lot of freight before I called them. These are fantastic prospects.
Referrals From Others: When you provide great freight service for your customers, there’s a high probability they’ll refer you to other prospects. Each customer you have has 30 prospects in their network who they could potentially refer to you. This should provide some extra motivation to take really great care of your customers!
Companies Where You Load: When you’re moving loads from new shippers, call those shippers that you picked up from and ask if you can move their challenging freight loads.
Companies Where You Unload: Same on the other end, provided they’re new receivers only!
Companies In The Same Industry: When calling companies in the same industry that you now service, tell them that you’re a freight specialist for their products, and you provide a niche in their industry. Typically, there are many companies in the same industry whom can you assist.
Company Drivers & Owner Operators: It’s quite easy to start a conversation with these individuals. After all, driving a truck is a lonely profession. Truck drivers are more than happy to take a few minutes to talk to you. Ask them where they picked up, and delivered, their load before yours? Now, you can contact those companies. These are the best prospect sources.
Company Info On Packaging Labels: Go into any food store and see where each item specifically came from by checking it’s packaging label. While it won’t give you a telephone number or a shipping decision maker’s name, it’ll show you the manufacturer’s name and where the company is located!
Customer’s Credit References: When you’re setting up a new customer, and, that customer provides a credit sheet along with their completed customer credit app, the first thing you zone in on are their company’s referrals. That is, who are the credit references they provide in case your company has to call them. Then, contact those credit reference prospects listed there.
Cold Calls / Internet Searches: You ALWAYS have cold calls. ThomasNet.com is a fantastic resource for finding new prospects. Just go to: www.thomasnet.com, type in “Product Search”, and select supplier Type.
Here’s the main thing:
Prospects are infinite! It’s that simple! Go and add your new prospects right now!